There are a lot of programs on television that seem to glorify the bossy, spoiled, pampered bride. We think that’s the exception – not the rule. While it’s true that your wedding day is your special day, chances are there are a lot of really special people that you will be inviting that you want to have a good time too. The best way to show those people just how much they mean to you, is to plan a wedding reception that celebrates your marriage, yet takes time to show appreciation to family and friends.
Step One – Realize That It’s Not Just About You and Your Groom
It’s easy to get caught up in all the planning and drama of a wedding. Everyone tells you it’s the “big day” or your “special day” and you start believe that to be true. But any bride who has tried to sit down and make her wedding reception plans by herself knows, there are a lot of other voices that will be wanting to give input.
Maybe it’s your mother or maybe it’s his mother; perhaps there’s a well-meaning aunt that wants to pay for (and plan) certain aspects of your ceremony or reception. Whatever the situation or the person behind it, it’s important to understand why certain things are important to certain individuals and do your best to honor them without totally caving under the pressure.
As you start making your plans do it loosely. Set up a general idea of what you want to do and which wedding reception hall in Massachusetts you want to use. Choose a wedding reception theme and start gathering – but not committing to – ideas for wedding receptions in a scrapbook or by using an online program, such as Pinterest. As soon as friends, family members and members of your wedding party learn that you are making wedding reception plans, they’ll start giving you their input – you can count on it.
Keep a list of suggestions with a little note by each one that reminds you of who gave you the idea. People love to get credit and receive thanks. A nice way to thank your grandmother for suggestion that you have your wedding reception theme reflect your favorite black-and-white movie that you watched with her as a child, would be to include her in on the execution of those plans at your wedding reception. A thank-you gift, a card or some other unique memento that is just for her that lets her know how much her help meant to you would also be nice.
Step Two – Don’t Try to Impress Anyone
A lot of brides make the mistake of trying to go over the top or choose wedding reception plans that don’t really reflect their personal tastes or interests, just for the sake of impressing or out-doing another bride’s wedding. You don’t have to have the biggest cake, the most popular local band or have the most unusual and expensive food served at your wedding reception. The best advice is to just be yourself and let your wedding reception theme and plans flow naturally.
The number of guests should be based upon a couple of things. First, your budget will dictate how many you can afford to invite. This figure should be based upon the cost per-person for the wedding reception menu and the number of guests that your wedding reception hall in Massachusetts can hold. Next, you need to consider your own personal preferences. Do you and your groom prefer a quiet, intimate setting or a wild and crazy party? Make sure to speak with the venue manager about any restrictions for the number of guests, parking facilities and space for all the extra events you want included.
You should make a double list of the things you want to include in your wedding reception plans. One list will be titled “nice to have” and the other list will be titled “have to have.” The items on the first list are the dream things, the extras, that you aren’t sure you can afford but would like to think about and add if there’s room in the budget. The items on the second list are the things that you must have, such as a cake, musical entertainment, food for the wedding reception, decorations and more. For example, you could simply list “wedding cake” on the “have to have” list and on the corresponding line of the “nice to have” list you could list “5 tier wedding cake from favorite bakery.”
When it come to taste, consider your own. If you prefer a simple family-style buffet and tunes played by your cousin the wanna-be DJ, then go with it. If you want a formal, traditional-style dinner service and music from a local classical music quartet, you’ve got to go with your gut. Don’t try to impress anyone in your family, his family, your friends or even each other. Your wedding ceremony and reception should be a reflection of you as a couple – not how much money you spend on dinner.
Step Three – R-E-S-P-E-C-T
When you begin making your plans, you should think about the time and money that will be spent to pull it off. This is true whether your parents are paying for your ceremony or reception, or just thinking about how much it will cost for your relatives to travel to your wedding. Sometimes thinking of others means planning a local wedding and after-party at a wedding reception hall in Massachusetts, rather than some tropical get-away ceremony on an island in the South Pacific.
If you want a tropical wedding, but can’t afford one, you could always incorporate your love of the islands in with your wedding reception theme and plan a getaway for you and your groom on the honeymoon. It’s better to have your great-uncle and cousins be able to show up to share your special day than to get married on a beach with sand between your toes. If that’s what really matters, speak with the person who will be marrying you – perhaps an outdoor wedding near the seashore or an indoor altar with a makeshift beach for the floor will work.
When reserving blocks of hotel rooms for guests who will be traveling from far away to come to your wedding and reception, make sure to choose rooms in three different price ranges to ensure that everyone’s taste and pocketbook are taken into consideration. Choose an under $100 family hotel, a mid-priced upper-scale hotel and an four-star resort, if one is available. Include this information in with the map to the ceremony and wedding reception hall or post it on your wedding website so they know what’s available.
Make sure to share as much information about the details of your wedding ceremony and reception with your guests as well. Can they bring a plus-one, or do they need to ask you first? Can they bring their children to the wedding, or just to the wedding reception after the vows? Will there be special dietary options for people with medical conditions or allergies? In addition to providing information about hotels, you should also give directions from the local airport, share links to local car rental companies or let guests know that you will be picking them up or sending a car for them when they arrive.
Step Four – Plan Every Detail
Create lists. Make calendars. Use an online service or hire a professional wedding planner. Take the time to make wedding reception plans that will be easy to follow and stay on top of, in addition to all of the things you’ll need to do to get ready for the ceremony itself. If you can start off being organized and stay that way throughout the entire process, chances are high that your wedding day will be without any last-minute surprises or stress.